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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2000 Dec 1;56(2):101-11.

Factors contributing to limited open-set speech perception in children who use a cochlear implant.

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Department of Otolaryngology and the Cochlear Implant Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, M5G 1X8, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Cochlear implants have enabled many children with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss to develop speech perception skills. However, some children experience few gains while others develop high levels of speech perception. We identified potential factors contributing to poor performance with an implant by studying implanted children who do not develop functional speech perception. Five children were identified as developing no open-set word recognition skills after at least 2 years of implant use. This study group was compared to a randomly selected control group (n=10) and an age-matched control group (n=5). Pre-implant factors were examined using a Graded Profile Analysis and post-implant factors were assessed in a retrospective chart review. A greater number of pre-implant concerns were raised in the study group than in randomized controls (P<0.01). Chronological age and duration of deafness were pre-implant concerns in all study group subjects. A greater number of post-implant concerns were found in the study group than in randomly selected controls (P<0.005). We conclude that while appropriate selection of candidates for cochlear implantation is important in predicting speech perception outcomes, post-implant follow-up is also essential and must include regular monitoring of equipment, monitoring of stimulation levels with use of objective measures of stimulation levels if necessary, and consistent habilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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